Like many other people in the Santa Fe Springs area, you have a job in the retail grocery industry. Unfortunately, you sustained a wrist injury just after reporting for work today.
You suspect a fracture and hope to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. If your employer has an approved Medical Provider Network, you must first see a doctor listed in the MPN.
In the state of California, a Medical Provider Network, or MPN, consists of a group of health care providers including doctors who specialize in various areas of medicine and in treating work-related injuries. The networks must have the approval of the California Division of Workers’ Compensation, or DWC. If your employer has an approved MPN, you must see a doctor who is part of that network about your wrist injury. Keep in mind that if you do not agree with the diagnosis, MPN requirements allow you to choose another doctor to visit and to seek second and third opinions as well.
Your workers’ compensation claim
You must report your injury to your supervisor and seek prompt treatment; your employer should be able to tell you where to go for emergency medical care. Within one day of learning about your injury, your employer must provide you with a workers’ compensation claim form. Once you fill this out and return it, the claim process begins.
Benefits to expect
There are five basic workers’ compensation benefits:
- Employer-paid medical care for a work-related injury or illness
- Temporary disability benefits if you cannot work while recovering
- Permanent disability benefits if you do not have a complete recovery
- Supplemental job displacement benefits, which allow for vouchers in the event you need retraining or skills enhancement if you do not have a complete recovery
- Death benefits payable to your spouse or other dependents if you should die from a work-related injury or illness
Many kinds of injuries qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, including your suspected wrist fracture. However, keep in mind that eligibility may require you to seek medical care through your employer’s approved Medical Provider Network.